Ian Rapoport says 'no chance' Dak Prescott becomes free agent originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
With Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys yet to agree on a deal for 2021 or beyond, general managers and fans of teams in need of a quarterback can still dream about a scenario where the quarterback somehow hits the open market this offseason.
NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, however, believes they can stop living in that fantasy world. On Tuesday's episode of the Pat McAfee Show, Rapoport stated that there was no scenario he could see in which Prescott wasn't in Dallas for at least 2021.
“No chance he hits free agency. Why would you? He’ll get franchise tagged again or he’ll do a deal," Rapoport said. "Or he’ll do a deal in July, which also makes sense.”
The news isn't shocking. Even though the two sides have been unable to agree on a long-term contract, an inability to get that done this offseason wouldn't automatically result in Prescott departing.
That's because the Cowboys still have the option to place the franchise tag on the quarterback for the second consecutive season. This time, Dallas would be paying him $37.7 million.
Prescott's performance throughout his first five seasons -- the most recent cut short by a serious leg injury -- has proven that he is one of the top passing options in the league. But contract negotiations with the team that drafted him have continued to stall. Rapoport noted that the consensus around the NFL is Prescott's new contract should be similar to the mega-deals Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes have received.
If Dallas feels different, or more comfortable evaluating his 2021 return from injury before committing to the future, the tag can be used. An interesting point from Rapoport detailed how the tag may be an option Prescott embraces. Though he'd love to have security for the future, making it through the 2021 campaign without a long-term deal could provide even greater opportunities next offseason.
“He will be a free agent next year and probably the highest-paid free agent in NFL history by a lot," Rapoport said. "That is an interesting scenario waiting for Dak on the other side.”
The Washington Football Team and many others could use a quarterback like Prescott and would pay top dollar for one. Maybe that opportunity arises in the future. According to Rapoport, though, it won't come in 2021.